Gone are the days when you would just pop over to your colleague’s desk to ask for a missing piece of copy, or run into them to chat about that brief for your next meeting. Marketing technology is a rapidly changing industry, but workflow platforms are arguably the most important tech space for an operations team in our new remote work lives.
Heather Carl works as the Marketing Operations Manager at Missouri Employers Mutual, the largest worker's compensation provider in the state. She knows that the bar is very high when you are making a real impact on helping companies prevent injuries and reduce insurance claims. She takes us through what works for her team, and how they reassess their marketing needs to reflect larger business goals.
Join us as Glenn and Heather discuss:
- Tips for increasing your volume without sacrificing consistency
- Workflow and technology
- Measuring your work by how you dealt with the unexpected
Tips for increasing your volume without sacrificing consistency
Heather counts herself very fortunate to work for a company that gets to make a difference in people's lives — explaining that working for a company that has customers and employees’ best interests at heart makes marketing a little easier.
Even so, general sentiment around insurance can be a little bleak. Many businesses look at insurance as just another expense that they never use; and while they may want to do everything they can to ensure the safety of their employees, the attitude towards insurance must change.
At the end of the day, it’s about risk and exposure.
“When you don't have coverage, it can put a business at a lot of risk when a claim comes in, because there can be some pretty big numbers associated with those, especially on the job injuries.” — Heather Carl
Managing more with an already packed schedule
Succeeding as a marketing operations manager comes with an ever expanding list of responsibilities such as strategy, creative production, measurement, and metrics. How, then, can someone take on more without sacrificing quality of work?
Heather shares two pieces of advice for anyone trying to take on more responsibility:
- Don’t be afraid to try something new: Specifically around skill set, you don’t have to be an expert at every aspect of a position to take it on successfully. Since marketing is a rapidly changing industry, you won’t be able to learn 100% of what you need before you need to learn something different.
- Make sure you’re prioritizing: Any marketer knows there’s always a lot of different projects going on at the same time. To juggle everything, make sure you know your corporate goals and map your work accordingly.
Workflow and technology
For Heather, you cannot have workflow without technology — any disjointed system will miss out on efficiency and collaboration. But establishing that workflow can be a challenge when every team is a little different.
“Whether you're an agency or a corporation, whatever your scenario is, you're going to have different people on those teams with different skill sets and different roles.” — Heather Carl
To establish that workflow, then, requires you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of everyone on the team:
- How do they work best?
- What is their work style?
- What are your deadlines?
She explains, “At the end of the day, everybody's bought in, everybody feels comfortable, and it's meeting your needs. So you don't just try to apply one size fits all to it.”
Once you have that established, you can focus on tracking.
Time to track
With many teams working remotely, tracking has never been more important to have than now. You can no longer just walk over to someone’s desk to ask a question — you instead have to send an email.
Emails, unfortunately, aren’t the easiest to follow when multiple people are involved. Using a project management platform, you can get the simplicity you need but combined with tracking capabilities and buy-in you’re unlikely to get through email.
Measuring your work by how you dealt with the unexpected
You now have a workflow, but how do you know your process has been totally optimized? When true optimization means having the ability to pivot quickly when the unexpected happens, you need to know the signs.
“The challenge is being agile, while also having some stability and some type of quality assurance, routine and workflow” — Heather Carl
Heather suggests taking an agile look at the original plan and walking through each step:
- How many questions did you have to ask afterward?
- Where did you have stumbling blocks?
- How many times were there miscommunications?
Finding those pain points and deciding whether you could do anything differently to avoid them is key to knowing whether your workflow needs more work or not.